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The Department of Environmental Economics and Management

The Robert H. Smith Faculty
of Agriculture, Food and Environment
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

PO Box 12, Rehovot 76100
Fax: 08-9466267

Department Head:
Prof. Ayal Kimhi, Tel: 08-9489376

Head of the teaching program:
Dr. Ohad Raveh, Tel: 08-9489373

Meital Kappach, Tel: 08-9489230


Kimhi, A. ; Hanuka-Taflia, N. What drives the convergence in male and female wage distributions in Israel? A Shapley decomposition approach. The Journal of Economic Inequality 2019, 17, 379–399. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We examine the drivers of the convergence of the hourly wage distributions of males and females in Israel between 1995 and 2008. Israel is an interesting case study in this respect, since it experienced declining wage inequality in recent decades, as opposed to most developed countries. We found that the gender differences in both average wages and wage inequality declined over time. In particular, average wages increased faster for females than for males, while wage inequality declined faster for males than for females. We decomposed these distributional changes into the contributions of worker and job attributes, the returns on these attributes and residuals using a Shapley approach applied to counterfactual simulated wage distributions. We found that most of the increase in male wages was due to the increase in wages of workers in high-wage occupations and industries, while female wages increased mostly due to the increase in the returns to experience. The decline in wage inequality was driven mostly by changes in attributes, the decline in the returns to education, and the catching-up of immigrant workers, and each of these components was stronger for males than for females. We conclude that the convergence of the male and female wage distributions was due to both changes in the supply of labor, especially among females, and changes in the demand for labor leading to changes in the returns to various skills.
Reitan, A. ; Rubin, O. D. ; Rubin, A. ; Kimhi, A. Privatization, demographic growth, and perceived sustainability: Lessons from the Israeli renewing kibbutzim. Sustainable Development 2019. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Abstract In 2005, the State of Israel established a new classification?renewing kibbutzim. This study examines the relationship between the extent of privatization and the various forms of demographic growth that were permissible under the new classification and their impact on the perceived sustainability of the kibbutz in these communal communities. We collected data at the kibbutz level via interviews with community managers and at the individual level through questionnaires among community members in 19 kibbutzim. We employed the ?nearest neighbor? methodology to create pairs who were demographically eligible for a before and after comparison. Although our results about perceived sustainability suggest that kibbutzim across the board have overcome the struggle to survive and have been able to recover, unlike commonly assumed, changes they adopted in the direction of more privatization and diversified statuses are clearly correlated with smaller increases in levels of perceived sustainability. Our findings may offer lessons for wider sociological questions concerning processes of privatization and stratification.
Kimhi, A. ; Menahem-Carmi, S. Does rural household income depend on neighboring urban centers? Evidence from Israel. Review of Applied Socio-Economic Research 2017, 13, 26-35. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This research explores the dependence of rural incomes on nearby urban centers, mostly implied by rural-to-urban and/or urban-to-rural selective migration. Migration flows are affected by wage differentials as well as differences in housing costs and other amenities, and by commuting costs and costs of migration. An income-generating equation, which includes characteristics of nearby urban communities among the explanatory variables, is estimated for rural households in Israeli moshav villages. The results show that the population of nearby urban communities is significantly and positively associated with rural household per-capita income. The same is true for mean income in these communities. In addition, distance from urban communities affects rural income negatively, suggesting that commuting costs are important determinants of the direction of the net migration of high-income households.
Heizler, O. ; Kimhi, A. The Role of Children in Building Parents’ Social Networks. In Social Economics: Current and Emerging Avenues; Social Economics: Current and Emerging Avenues; Mit Press, 2017; pp. 283–304. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Fertility is one of the most important decisions that a household makes. The economic literature has examined numerous aspects of fertility decisions: the optimal number of children, the tradeoff between quantity and quality of children, intergenerational transfers, old-age security and intra-family insurance, the effect of children on parents’ labor supply, the effect of children on parents’ marital stability, and so on (Browning 1992). However, despite the emerging economic literature on the important role played by social networks in various aspects of economic behavior (Jackson 2005; Birke 2009), little is known about the effect of family composition in general, and children
Kimhi, A. ; Sandel, M. Religious Schooling, Secular Schooling, and Household Income Inequality in Israel. In Socioeconomic Inequality in Israel; Socioeconomic Inequality in Israel; 2016; pp. 59-72.